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Scooter Review

Daelim NS 125 III

Psst. Wanna 125 that pumps out the same as a 150? Check this out my friend


Front design comes along with the bright transparent dual headlight, so that makes the progressed elegant scooter and voluminous body presents the toughness as a big scooter.”

I’m glad we’ve got that sorted out. Press kits are often unintentionally amusing, but while the established brands can laugh at fractured English, ignoring new product is a danger as resting on your laurels can result in a sore backside as you get kicked in the marketplace until it hurts. If Daelim – a relatively unknown brand in Australian terms – has its way, then there is going to be some pretty interesting product to come for Australian riders.

The NS 125 III is an impressive piece of kit, at least according to the specs. Consider the power output from the 125cc four-valve four-stroke. Just more than 9kW (or almost two more than TGB’s 150 Voodoo, both according to claimed figures). That makes it no slouch in anyone’s language. Daelim claim a top speed of 106km/h and fuel consumption of 2L/100km for a range of 400km from a tank. While we didn’t get to ride the scooter long enough to validate either claim, the seat of the pants computer certainly reports the scooter has some serious go.

Much of the performance comes down to Daelim’s adoption of a well oversquare engine with a four-valve head lay-out, together with an air-/oil-cooling system and a CV carb. In fact, Daelim claims the NS is the first four-valve 125cc scooter. At 120kg claimed, the weight is a penalty (the TGB Voodoo is 122kg) but there is still some serious power lurking under the svelte bodywork which, as you’ll remember, “presents the toughness as a big scooter”.

When it comes to the handling, we cannot go past the presskit: “Moreover, wide tubeless tire paves the way to the era of multipurpose utility scooter with security and high speed capability”. Our sentiments entirely.

From our brief ride, we can report that the scooter does, indeed, handle well. The tyre sizes encourage spirited riding – at 120/70 and 130/70 front and rear, they are not dissimilar to sports motorcycles – and the 12-inch rims do a pretty good job of coping with surface irregularities, while the disc/drum braking combination also does the job. Certainly, the latest breed of scooters has elevated handling to a new level and the NS is by no means disgraced, even if touchdown does come perhaps a little too early. The centrestand scrapes mid corner, though at 90kg, I am probably responsible for that, corner or no corner.

There is a retractable shopping bag hook halfway down the legshield, which may be a little low for shopping bags, but should work well for a handbag, etc, or for restraining stuff carried on the flat footboard area. There is, of course, storage under the seat and the colour-matched rack is neat, though it sits a little lower than the pillion seat and has a rail which makes it harder to lay things flat on it. It is nice to see a clock making an appearance on a scooter that doesn’t come from Italy!

So what do you get for your money from the newcomer? The NS looks as if it’s bolted together pretty well – remember Daelim may be new to the scooter market in Oz, but it’s been building scooters and motorcycles since 1970 so those Koreans probably know a thing or two; it handles pretty well and in terms of power, it punches above its weight.

Well worth a look. Just don’t get bogged down with the brochure...

As published in TW SCOOTER MAGAZINE - 1/06/2005
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